Eastside Winter Running

With little snow in the mountains and cold temps, running is a great way to spend your free time to explore the Owens Valley.  We just updated our Eastern Sierra MountainRunning Guide.  Below is a list of some trails to explore.

  1. Running from Bishop to Mammoth or vice verse.  When I started Sage to Summit, I thought about hosting a race from Bishop to Mammoth.  Jeff Kozak did some recon and explored various routes.  This is a link to the three possibilities we explored, all really cool routes that are likely snow free right now.
  2. Lower Rock Creek.  This is one of my favorites and typically the trail that we send people to when looking for a place to run.  It’s snow free most of the year (at least the last two years) and is that quintessential single track that gives you a runner’s high.  It’s also a great mountain biking trail, so you can have a multi-sport day if you’re interested.
  3. Pleasant Valley Loop.  I was introduced to this area when Wild Iris used to host their ½ marathon in the fall.  It’s beautiful, especially in the winter.  There’s that classic Patitucci Photo of Janine running in Pleasant Valley that I love.  You can end your run with some bouldering at the Happy Boulders, which again, makes a wonderful multi-sport day.  I love the Eastside!
  4. Black Canyon.  The Whites in general are wonderful for winter running.  Black Canyon is a great one, but you can also explore Redding and Silver Canyons for some great running too.  In the Fall you can link it up towards the top of the White’s and make some crazy loops. Here's a write up about Silver Canyon by former Sage to Summit salesman, Chris Gaggia.
  5. Druid Stones.  I personally am unable to run the steep sections of this trail, and it ends up being more of a run/hike/bouldering session.  Super fun! 
  6. The Tungsten Hills Half-Marathon is a great loop.  The Tungsten’s have numerous roads and trails to link, this is just one of many to explore. 
  7. Tungsten Peak 10K.  We used this as a course for the Winter Race Series and crippled some of the Mammoth Track Club runners.  This is a must-do run, it’s steep going up to Tungsten Peak, so be prepared to power-hike. 
  8.  McMurray Meadows Loop.  I lived in Big Pine for almost 10 years.  The entire McMurray Meadows and Little Pine Creek areas are soooooo pretty.  You have to run there!  Baker Creek and the Warren Bench are also noteworthy places to explore.
  9. Lastly, Red Mountain aka THE VOLCANO.  I call it the volcano even though it’s only a crater, and volcano sounds better to me.  Howie and I run this numerous times every year.  It always gets my winter psych up, since running down the scree is fun, it almost gives me the skiing high . . . almost.  It’s also a phenomenal view of the valley. 
If you have any areas to share please comment!  Checking out the Owens Valley takes more than a lifetime, so if you’ve found places that are great for running, let us know.

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